How Natural Gas Drilling Threatens Drinking Water
Environment Texas released a new study today that details how natural gas development can endanger our water. Steps we should take to protect our water from the executive summary:
Avoid Toxic Contamination
- Replace dangerous chemicals in fracturing fluids with safer alternatives; and
- Send wastewater to facilities capable of dealing with the issues presented by fracturing fluids.
Plan for Safety
Prevent gas drillers from using water for fracturing where it depletes local watersheds;
- Drill only in areas safely distant from drinking water;
- Require a fee for drilling sufficient to pay for cleanup of abandoned sites and to pay for monitoring, permitting, and enforcement of active sites; and
- Create a bonding requirement to make sure that companies have the ability to cover the above costs before drilling begins.
Hold Drillers Accountable
- Make the composition of fracturing fluids public;
- Make sure citizens know the quantity and location of fluids injected nearby;
- Make polluters pay for any contamination they cause; and
- Clean up sites when done and replace lost water supplies.
Employ Best Practices
- Construct drilling sites in a way that prevents the spread of contaminants, such as using steel tanks rather than open pits for wastewater; and
- Be prepared for problems by using rubber pools to catch spills and frequently monitoring for the possibility of escaped fluids or gases.
LINK to the report and the press release.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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